U.S. District Courthouse, Cedar Rapids

CRESCO – A West Union man who was detained on federal firearm violations this week had wiped down a 9mm handgun shortly after it was used to kill a woman in Cresco last year, according to court records.

Agents with the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement charged Gilbert Lopez Jr., 33, with being a drug user in possession of a firearm after he allegedly sold a different 9mm pistol to an undercover officer and tossed a .380-caliber handgun from his West Union home on Tuesday morning during a police search.

Court records indicate law enforcement also had contact with Lopez in March 2018 after witnesses allegedly brought him the 9mm Smith & Wesson M&P pistol that Brian Fullhart is accused of using to kill his wife, Zoanne Fullhart, in a Cresco mobile home. The pistol was turned over to law enforcement when officers were notified of the slaying hours later, records state.

“Lopez openly admitted to the destruction of evidence by wiping down the firearm used in the murder of Zoanne Fullhart,” a DNE agent wrote in court records detailing the case.

At the time, Lopez was living in Cresco where he had met the Fullharts at a laundromat about two days before the homicide. Details weren’t available, but records indicate the Fullharts gave Lopez a flat screen TV, and the three and two others went to an area near Protivin fire the Smith & Wesson.

Lopez wasn’t in the South Elm Street mobile home when Zoanne Fullhart was shot, but those who were told police that the couple had been arguing on the night of Feb. 28, 2018. Witnesses heard a gunshot and saw Brian Fullhart with a pistol and Zoanne Fullhart on the floor, records state.

One of the witnesses took the handgun from Brian Fullhart, and the witnesses brought the gun to a Fourth Avenue West house where Lopez was, and they then traveled to Lopez’s home on Third Street SE.

Lopez used baby wipes to clean the gun, records state.

They ate soup and talked about the shooting.

Lopez and the witnesses then drove to Elm Street where he talked with Brian Fullhart and entered the mobile home. He could see Zoanne Fullhart’s body, records state.

Lopez went back to his own home, and the two witnesses later followed to pick up the pistol and take it to a neighboring mobile home on Elm Street where they called 911.

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